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Newman University unveils plans for £22m campus regeneration

Next phase in long-running overhaul of south Birmingham campus will see new teaching blocks and almost 300 bedrooms built

Pic: ADP
CGI of new student accommodation at Newman University's campus in Bartley Green

A Birmingham university is planning a £22 million overhaul of its campus to create new teaching space and almost 300 student bedrooms.

Newman University, in Bartley Green, has brought forward new proposals as part of wider, long-running plans worth £70 million to develop its campus in south Birmingham and attract more students.

The project will see the demolition of Newman Close student accommodation, change of use of other bedrooms to academic space, existing teaching buildings McAuley and Freire bulldozed and the Sturge education building refurbished and extended.

Three new separate blocks of student accommodation will also be built, housing 298 bedrooms, and an existing car park will be reconfigured to expand from 265 to 350 spaces.

Only granted "university" status a few years ago, the original campus was built in 1968 on a single 14-acre site as a Catholic teacher training college to prepare teachers to work in Catholic schools in Birmingham.

It was awarded 'Taught Degree Awarding Powers' in 2007 when it became Newman University College and in 2010 started its first major redevelopment since launching in the 1960s.

This included a new building at the front of the campus consisting of a new library, research centre, teaching spaces, atrium and reception which opened in 2013 when it also changed its name to Newman University following the change in status.

There has also been the extensive refurbishment and remodelling of arts, teaching and sports science faculties.

The St Chad building on Newman University's campus was opened in 2013
The St Chad building on Newman University's campus was opened in 2013

Newman University's vice-chancellor and principal Peter Lutzeier said: "We're committed to providing the very best learning environment for our students here at Newman and this investment is the next part of our plan to deliver on that aim.

"As Newman becomes an increasingly popular choice among students, following the award of full university title, we are also conscious of our responsibility to local residents and the importance of being a good neighbour.

"To this end, as a first priority, the redevelopment work includes improvements to car parking facilities on campus to reduce the impact of growing student numbers on local residents."

Work is due to start in April and the first of the new accommodation blocks is expected to be ready by 2017.

This latest element of the campus regeneration is expected to take five years in total to complete.

A design statement prepared by the Birmingham office of architecture practice ADP said Newman's long-term aspiration was to become a major academic institution within Birmingham which attracted a diverse student intake.

It added: "The current student accommodation is of poor standard compared to other providers and is limited to a maximum of 183 bedrooms.

"The current facilities do not provide en-suite rooms or adequate kitchen and social space.

"The residential blocks will provide a safe, efficient and sustainable environment where students can live, study and socialise."

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